LNBU participation has grown; students drink before and after

If you didn’t participate in a Late Night BU event last year, you’re in the minority.

Four out of five of the 659 Bradley students surveyed said they participated in at least one of the LNBU activities in 2011. This is an 18.9 percent increase from 2009, when three out of every five of the 487 surveyed students said they participated in at least one such event.

In 2011, 533 of the 659 students surveyed represent this data in comparison to 303 of the 487 surveyed students in 2009.

“I’m extremely pleased that LNBU has been received so well by studnets and the university community,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Alan Galsky. “When we were first putting this together back in 2008 we called other institutions that had late night programs. We asked them how many students should we expect to come to these things? ..They said if we average ten percent [of the student body] that would be pretty good, we certaintly average greater than that.”

Coordinator of the Alcohol Education and Awareness Program at the Wellness Center Lyndsey Hawkins said even though attendance isn’t 100 percent, she’s happy.

“Since we started LNBU in the fall of 2008, more students have attended the events over the years,” she said. ”I think more people have gone because it has become a tradition and part of the culture at Bradley.”

This year was the first year the survey included questions about consuming alcohol before and after. The survey showed 190 students of the 526 student respondents, or 36.1 percent, drank before attending a LNBU event.

Additionally, 49.1 percent, 259 students of the 528 students who responded said they have consumed alcohol after LNBU.

“The only time I have gone to LNBU after drinking was because someone else suggested it,” senior Margaret Drisi said. “The percentages of students who drink before or after LNBU sounds about right and it kind of defeats the purpose and kind of doesn’t. The purpose used to be to prevent people from drinking but now I feel that it’s goal is to bring people together.”

Hawkins said she agrees that the goal of the program is not to prevent people from drinking.

“By no means do we think our events will prevent people from drinking or stop alcohol abuse,” Hawkins said. “We’re not stupid. We want to reduce the risk of anything bad happening to students… If we can get them here for an hour and get some food in their stomachs we’re a success.”

Although an average of 42 percent of surveyed students said they have consumed alcohol before and/or after attending a LNBU, the amount students have consumed before or after LNBU is an average 2.5 drinks less than the average drinks of all surveyed students had the last time they drank.

According to an analysis of data, the number of drinks consumed by students surveyed the last time they consumed alcohol has decreased by 10.4 percent from 5.3 drinks in 2009 to 4.8 drinks in 2011.

“My hope for incoming freshmen is that if they don’t want to drink, they are confident in that decision,” Hawkins said. “And if they do drink that they decrease the number of drinks they have. It that means a person reduces alcohol from 15 drinks to 12 drinks then I’m okay with that, they are still lowering their risk.”